It’s Time to End Affirmative Action
Yesterday, the Supreme Court delayed the Harvard affirmative action case, asking the Biden administration for its views on the use of race in college admissions. The plaintiffs argue Harvard intentionally discriminated against Asian-American applicants in its admissions process. The problem is too many Asian-American students are excelling so, if only merit were considered, there wouldn’t be enough blacks and students of other races to make up a diverse student body, so Harvard says. All bow down to the god of diversity and to hell with merit and other supposedly white constructs - or is that Asian constructs? I’m getting mixed up.
Let’s go back to the beginning. There was a civil rights movement in the ’60s in this country to redress real grievances, achieve simple justice, and bring about true equal protection under the law. No more standing in the school house doorway. I’m a simple guy; I like simple justice. But then came the first departure from simple justice - affirmative action. It also used to be called ‘compensatory equal protection’ to make up for past grievances - reparations, if you will. How that can be squared with the plain meaning of the 14th Amendment equal protection clause, I don’t know, but the important fact to remember is that affirmative action was supposed to be temporary. And here it is over 50 years later and affirmative action is still around. It’s made things worse, not better.
Then came systemic racism, which I was writing about 10 years ago when the professional Right was asleep at the switch. I warned that people with influence needed to stand up against the idea or it would take over popular thought and public policy in a few short years. And here we are, at each other’s throats. Systemic racism is all the rage, the chattering classes can’t stop talking about it. Meanwhile, people all whipped up into a frenzy with race hatred are out shooting people. Systemic racism has been followed by white privilege, microaggressions, antiracism, and critical race theory - each new departure from the simple justice of the civil rights movement more toxic, more divisive, and creating more resentment than the last. These things are not helping, except to provide livelihoods to race hustlers who are making a fine living and Building Large Mansions peddling this stuff. All bow down to racial centralism - the crazy notion that the only thing in the whole wide universe worth talking about is race.
The Asian-Americans I know teach their kids to excel. They are a model to the rest of us. They don’t like being told to sit in the back of the bus. Some of them were mad enough to sue Harvard. In my local area, many are upset that admission to a magnet STEM high school with a supercomputer will no longer be on the basis of merit. Standardized tests are out and socioeconomic status, a sanitized proxy for race, is in. Litigation, again on behalf of Asian-Americans, is pending. All bow down to diversity, because that’s the important thing - right? - not academic excellence, the best qualifications for the job, being able to compete in the world economy, or any of those other pesky competing policy considerations that might upset the diversity-industrial complex. Unless, of course, you like the people flying your plane being chosen on the basis of their skin color, not merit. Safe journey.
It’s time to end the tunnel vision of racial centralism and the exclusion of competing values. It’s time to stop having a one-track mind about diversity. And it’s time to end affirmative action which, I remind you again, was only supposed to be temporary. The Harvard case is an excellent opportunity for the Supreme Court to go back to the plain meaning of equal protection. The Justices can end affirmative action without being accused of being white supremacists - a better opportunity will not soon arise. And it’s time to stop believing black people can’t make it without the government handing them a crutch. I can’t think of anything more racist.
Finally, it’s time to stop punishing people who excel. No more standing in the schoolhouse doorway, Harvard.
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